The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has rescued 100 children and apprehended 120 suspected traffickers within six months in Akwa Ibom State.
Uyo Zonal Commander of NAPTIP, Ubong Ekwere, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview in Uyo on Friday.
Mr Ekwere was giving updates on the activities of the command since he took charge six months ago.
He said the trend of human trafficking in the state had changed, warning parents and guardians to be more vigilant about whereabouts of their children at any point in time.
“We have done remarkably well, because I resumed duty on May 17, as the Uyo Zonal Commander, from then we have hit the ground running and up till this time we have arrested 120 suspected human traffickers.
“The number of children rescued during this period of reporting is 100 and taken to our shelter, we have successfully reunited 88 of them with their families, only a few of them are still in our shelter now.
“There is a new trend of human trafficking now, that is why I am calling on all stakeholders to join hands and collaborate with NAPTIP by supporting our operations because of this new trend of selling and buying of babies.
“If all hands are not on deck to fight this menace, children of this zone would all be sold out. The crime is very alarming and worrisome.
“The most sympathetic one was the one where two children from the same parent were stolen and sold to a woman at Itam in Itu Local Government Area. The first and second daughters of one parent were stolen.
“The woman in Itam took the children to Anambra and sold them out. The buyer in Anambra now sold them to someone in Lagos and Abuja.
“We’ve rescued the two children and reunited them with their parents,” Mr Ekwere said.
Mr Ekwere disclosed that during the period, the command charged 21 of the suspects to court, with some of the cases still pending in courts.
He said the command secured one conviction.
The low number of convictions was due to COVID-19, according to him. (NAN)